Being a famous artist in your own lifetime is no guarantee that you'll be remembered by other artists. Have you heard of the French painter Ernest Meissonier? He was a contemporary with Edouard Manet, and by far the more successful artist in terms of critical acclaim and sales. The reverse is also true, with Vincent van Gogh probably the most famous example. Van Gogh relied on his brother, Theo, to provide him with paint and canvas, yet today his paintings fetch record prices whenever they come up at art auction and he's a household name.

Looking at famous paintings past and present can teach you many things, including composition and handling of paint. Though probably the most important lesson is that you should ultimately paint for yourself, not for a market or for posterity.

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Page 5 of 86   Paintings: 1027
Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) c. 1503-05 - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.most-famous-paintings.org
Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) c. 1503-05
Leonardo Da Vinci
Lady Godiva - John Maler Collier - www.most-famous-paintings.org
Lady Godiva
John Maler Collier
Chloe - Jules Joseph Lefebvre - www.most-famous-paintings.org
Chloe
Jules Joseph Lefebvre
A Still Life With Flowers And Fruit - Helen Augusta Hamburger - www.most-famous-paintings.org
A Still Life With Flowers And Fruit
Helen Augusta Hamburger
Dancers in blue, 1890 - Edgar Degas - www.most-famous-paintings.org
Dancers in blue, 1890
Edgar Degas
Starry Night Over The Rhone - Vincent Van Gogh - www.most-famous-paintings.org
Starry Night Over The Rhone
Vincent Van Gogh
The Siren  1900 - John William Waterhouse - www.most-famous-paintings.org
The Siren 1900
John William Waterhouse
The Drunken Hercules c. 1611 - Peter Paul Rubens - www.most-famous-paintings.org
The Drunken Hercules c. 1611
Peter Paul Rubens
Giant Redwood Trees of California - Albert Bierstadt - www.most-famous-paintings.org
Giant Redwood Trees of California
Albert Bierstadt
Moscow I - Wassily Kandinsky - www.most-famous-paintings.org
Moscow I
Wassily Kandinsky
The Pool - Tom Thomson - www.most-famous-paintings.org
The Pool
Tom Thomson
The Magnolia Blossom - Martin Johnson Heade - www.most-famous-paintings.org
The Magnolia Blossom
Martin Johnson Heade

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Page 5 of 86   Paintings: 1027